Torn between her native Cuba and her decision to emigrate to the UK, Cuban pianist and composer Marietta Veulens takes us through her journey to complete her magnum opus, Pasiones y Rituales, and returns to her hometown of Matanzas to revisit the people and places that inspired her and perform her album for the first time.
In 1959, Marietta Veulens was born in Matanzas, Cuba, a musically rich city known for its cultural heritage and pioneering folkloric artists. Growing up in a family of well-respected musicians and teachers, Marietta took to the piano at a young age and was exposed to a regime of strict practice and public performances.
She received classical training from her mother, an incredible pianist, who had her own Music Academy up until the time of the Cuban Revolution, and took influence from her father, a young and rebellious soul who favoured Rumba rhythms and dancing.
Olivia Emes’ debut feature chronicles the journey of one woman’s creativity, from young girl to adulthood, on a quest to find her unique voice as a musician and seek ways of expression outside of a patriarchal society. We meet the circle of women, healers and goddesses who nourished and supported her, while also learning the story behind her courage to cross boundaries and borders through her music.
Reinventing classical rhythms and musical form, Marietta rewrites Cuban tradition as she combines classical and popular Cuban music with Afro-Cuban, contemporary and jazz, ultimately finding her true voice.